Photo by Oliver Chapin-Eiserloh
Emily Daum was a four-time All-American in cross country and in both indoor and outdoor track when she was a student at Trinity. She also earned the recognition of Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Runner of the Year in both cross country and track and field twice over her collegiate career. Following up her successful career as a runner at Trinity that ended after her graduation in 2009, Daum is now in her sixth season as head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country teams. She discussed what brought her back to Trinity and why she loves cross country in this edition of Coach’s Corner. (These questions were answered via email.)
What do you wish you would have known about cross country when you were running that you know now as a coach?
Consistency in training is key to improvement. I know I could’ve put forth more effort my freshman and sophomore year during the off-season than what I did.
What is it like coaching both men and women at the same time?
Honestly, I couldn’t see it any other way. In my eyes, we are one team. Everyone brings a unique personality to the program, and I couldn’t imagine not coaching both genders.
What made you want to coach at your alma mater?
Trinity has always held a special place in my heart. I have a lot of pride for Trinity Cross Country and am invested in the continued growth of this program. Trinity fostered my growing passion for running, and I’m eternally grateful for that. I love the challenge student-athletes get from academics and athletics here. I feel as though it’s the perfect balance. Students will absolutely get challenged both academically AND athletically. I also love the sense of community we have among the professors and within the coaching staff. The support throughout the campus makes this a unique environment, to say the least.
What’s your favorite aspect of cross country as a sport?
The grind. It’s the countless runs with teammates — the workouts [and] long runs [and] easy runs — that are all necessary to performing your best during the championship part of the season.
What professional athlete that plays a different sport do you think would be the best cross country runner?
I honestly can’t think of one. Cross country is such a unique sport that requires a TON of aerobic endurance. There are few sports that come close to requiring the type of endurance necessary to being a successful distance runner. I’m just not that up-to-date on who those professionals are at the moment.
What’s your favorite sports movie?
I could watch “Cool Runnings” over and over again. It’s a great movie about underdogs competing out of their element and surprising everyone. The comic relief also makes it a fun one to watch.
What three people, past or present, would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Emma Coburn, Deena Kastor and Shalane Flanagan [who are all distance runners].
What would you eat at this dinner?
Tamales for dinner and coffee ice cream for dessert.
What is your go-to karaoke song?
Currently, anything from the “Moana” soundtrack.